HKMA publishes supervisory expectations and sound practices relating to algo trading following thematic examinations

On 6 March 2020, the HKMA issued a circular setting out its expectations on risk management for algorithmic (algo) trading, as well as sound practices observed from thematic on-site examinations of seven authorised institutions (AIs) in 2019. The on-site examinations of the seven AIs, mainly international banks using algorithms for making investment decisions, were conducted following a survey by the HKMA which found (among other things) that around 40% of the AIs surveyed were engaging in algo trading and that a majority of such AIs were intending to expand the scale of their algo trading.   Read more

Corporate Crime update – Winter 2020

Welcome to the Winter 2020 edition of our corporate crime update - our round up of developments in relation to corruption, money laundering, fraud, sanctions and related matters. Our update now covers a number of jurisdictions. Read more

Hong Kong data protection reform: what you need to know

On 20 January 2020, the Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Bureau (CMAB) together with the Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data (Privacy Commissioner), published a consultation paper raising important data protection issues and proposing possible amendments to the Personal Data (Privacy) Ordinance (Cap. 486) (PDPO), after having reviewed the existing data protection regime in Hong Kong. These include possibly introducing a mandatory data breach notification mechanism, requiring data users to specify a retention period for personal data collected, raising the sanctioning powers of the Privacy Commissioner as well as potentially making data processors more accountable. Read more

HKMA shares initial observations from banks’ self-assessment on culture

The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA)’s executive director for banking conduct, Mr Alan Au, recently delivered a speech on bank culture at the 1LoD Summit in Hong Kong. Although the HKMA is still in the process of reviewing the self-assessments submitted by the 30 AIs, Mr Au took the opportunity of the 1LoD Summit to provide the HKMA’s initial observations on how authorised institutions have approached culture reform, and highlighted some good practices and common issues of concern observed. Read more

Malaysia joins digital banking revolution – Bank Negara Malaysia issues Exposure Draft on Licensing Framework for Digital Banks

On 27 December 2019, Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) issued an exposure draft on the Licensing Framework for Digital Banks (Exposure Draft). According to BNM, up to five licences may be issued to applicants to establish digital banks that conduct either conventional or Islamic banking business in Malaysia. BNM’s move to promote the development of digital banks is in line with the direction taken by regulators in Singapore and Hong Kong, which have each issued similar licensing frameworks in the past two years. Read more

SFC clarifies licensing obligations of PE firms and family offices which conduct business in Hong Kong

On 7 January 2020, the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) issued two circulars to clarify aspects of the licensing obligations applicable to private equity (PE) firms and family offices which conduct business in Hong Kong. The circulars have been issued in response to enquiries from industry participants and their professional advisers. An overview of the key aspects covered by the circulars is set out below. Read more

Are you ready to be licensed? MAS issues payment service provider licence application forms

As 2019 draws to a close, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has been busy putting the finishing touches on its new regulatory framework for payment services. The Payment Services Act 2019 (PS Act) will commence on 28 January 2020, changing the payment services landscape in Singapore. In particular, payment service providers will only need one licence to conduct specified payment services, and MAS’ regulatory ambit will be extended to also cover digital payment token (DPT) services (“dealing in DPT”, i.e. buying or selling DPT such as Bitcoin, and/or “facilitating the exchange of DPT”, i.e. establishing or operating a DPT exchange) and merchant acquisition services. Read more